Cover Reveal – An Opportunity Seized by Donna Gallagher @donnag63


I have spread my genre wings and taken a short break from my League of Love, sports romance series. Here is the gorgeous cover for An Opportunity Seized. The first book in the Haven Security series, a romantic suspense/thriller set in the UK and Australia.



Two unforeseen moments in time— One brings them together, the other is a danger so real it could tear them apart.

Antoinette ‘Toni’ Grimaldi prefers to keep out of the spotlight, blend in with the crowd and experience life the same as the bulk of the population. Being a mining magnate’s daughter is a difficult persona for her to uphold. She just doesn’t fit in with high society standards, always managing to say something inappropriate or trip over her own feet at the worst possible moment. Resulting in that look of disappointment and embarrassment her parents inevitably wear whenever she’s around.

Meeting a handsome stranger who comes to her rescue and asks her out on a date is so much more than Toni could have ever hoped for on her dream holiday—one she is surprised her parents have even permitted her to take alone. Her fairy-tale moment is short lived, though, when Toni discovers the stranger has been hired by her family to follow her every move—under the guise of keeping her safe.

Jason finds he is drawn to Antoinette—she is nothing like the socialite he was expecting to shadow around London’s nightclubs at all. After an awkward first meeting he convinces Toni that there is more to his interest in her than just as her bodyguard. To his surprise his attraction for the soft spoken, thoughtful woman grows, despite his usual reluctance to commit to any kind of relationship.

A disaster at one of the family owned mines and a string of death threats forces Toni to return home, and her need for a bodyguard becomes a life and death reality.



Pre-order: 14th November 2014

Early download: 28th November 2014

General release: 26th December 2014



Totally Bound Author Erik Clarke is On the Bench

I love when I get the chance to showcase new authors on my blog. This week I’m even more excited to introduce a talented young author published by Totally Bound.
Please welcome…Erik Clarke as he sits ‘On the Bench’ and previews his latest ‘Super Novel’ length book Wonder from the Spellbound series. To be honest, I am a little jealous that Erik has found the time to write three super novel length books. Shouldn’t you be studying or something, Erik? ;)


Erik Clarke is still trying to figure out how to balance work, school, writing, and the ever-elusive “social life”. He’s also still trying to figure out when the outlandish plots and crazy characters he’d scribbled into the margins of his notebooks for years somehow coalesced into an actual novel.

Born in Ohio and now struggling through the constant love/hate relationship that is living in the beautiful but sweltering Arizona landscape, Erik is thankful every day for the incredible, supportive family and friends that surround him—and for the sheer joy that writing two characters to their happily ever after can bring.


Author Interview Questions.


What was the first book you had published?

The first book I ever had published was actually Night, the first book in my current series, Spellbound. I’d written lots of things before that, more stories than I can count that never got further than a few pages or (on the lucky ones) a few chapters, but Night was the first plot that I finally managed to buckle down on enough to get it completed, and luckily it got picked up!

What was your initial reaction when offered that first contract?

I was shocked, honestly. To have a publishing company like the first book that I’d gotten finished was such a dream come true. It was so crazy to me to have achieved this dream of mine that I’d always just kind of had sitting in the back of my mind, that I’d figured I wouldn’t get to until I was a lot older. It was very surreal.

Of the books you have written is there one that holds a special place in your heart and why?

The second book in the Spellbound series, Monster, is very special to me. As much as I love my first book, I learned so much in the editing process of that one, and having to read over it so many times really shaped the way that I wrote the second book. Every interaction between Syler and Max in that book is just full of frustration and attraction and emotion, and I just feel like it’s some of the most honest content I’ve ever written. So much of the book is them sparring, and it was so fun to write because it felt very real to me, very human and grounded even though it’s set in this big, supernatural world full of magic.

Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?

I try to be diligent about getting writing done when I have the chance, because with school and my job the times that I actually have to write can end up being kind of few and far between, so I really have to take advantage of them. But the amount that gets done at each of those times definitely changes depending on the mood I’m in. Some days, it’s just a few hundred words, and then at other times when the muse really hits me I’ve written over 10,000 words in one sitting. It’s very hit or miss, which can get stressful when a deadline’s approaching.

What was the last book you read?

I actually just went back and read one of my favorite books, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I had to read it when I was in high school and I fell in love. Distopian books have always fascinated me, and Brave New World is by far my favorite, just by virtue of its dark humor and sarcasm.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on something very different from what I’ve written in the past. It’s sci-fi, rather than the paranormal that I’ve always written before, and it definitely is a darker kind of book than my other ones. It pushes into subjects and desires that don’t pop up in the Spellbound books, and there is a much more pronounced focus on the mental aspects. I’m not sure yet if it’s the start of a new series or a standalone, but it will give people a taste of a different side of my writing, I can say that much.

What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?

Honestly, the sci-fi one that I’m working on right now was a genre that I was very excited to go into. I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars and games like Halo and Dead Space, so sci-fi has always been very near and dear to my heart. Putting my spin on that (with a gay erotica twist) has been lots of fun so far. I also want to try my hand at something contemporary soon, just to see if I can write something that doesn’t have to have magic or spaceships for a backdrop.

When you receive edits are you Teary and Disillusioned or Feisty and Focussed?

I always figured that I was going to be very teary and disillusioned when I got my edits, and on my first book at least, when I saw the sheer amount of things to fix, I definitely felt that way for a little bit. But I’ve found now that I actually get very feisty once I start to read them, which I hadn’t necessarily expected from myself. I can get real defensive real quick, I’ve found out. But that fire helps me get through them quickly and they’re always very helpful, so it all works out.

What is one thing in your books you’d like to try?

I never intended to write in the first person perspective. Literally everything I’d written before Night had been third person, and then by some turn of events that book just came out in first person to my surprise as much as anyone else’s. It just felt natural, and that set a precedent for the rest of the series. Now I’m so used to first person that third person feels strange, so I’m trying with this new story to get back into the feel of that perspective again.






Now for some hard hitters with an Aussie flavour!




A sport /sportsperson that you watch? (C’mon there must be one) OR An embarrassing sporting memory.

I love watching basketball, which is funny, because I never really played it except occasionally in P.E. class (I don’t really have the height for it…), but it’s just such nonstop motion that it’s easy to stay engaged. I also like watching baseball a lot as well, although it’s been a few seasons since I actually did.

Favourite Aussie Author/Actor /Musician?

I love the musician Sia. Her music has just gotten popular here in the U.S. in the last couple years, although I know she’s written a lot of other performer’s hits before that without anyone really knowing it, but I think she’s amazing. Her latest album is one that I can just leave on repeat and listen to from start to finish without having to skip anything, which is so rare for me.

Your view on Vegemite?

Never tried it, but if my YouTube obsession has taught me anything, it’s that I probably wouldn’t be a fan… Although I’m definitely willing to give it a try! Even if just once…

Formal dinner party or backyard barbeque?

Barbeque, all the way. I like getting dressed up and all, but formal dinners make me even more uncomfortable than social events normally make me, and that’s saying something. Just hanging out with family or friends informal style helps put me more at ease.

Adventure holiday or relaxing by the pool?

Relaxing poolside. I love doing adventurous things every now and then just to keep things spiced up, but more often than not I work myself up into a ball of stress if I think about impending adventurous-y stuff for too long, so most of the time just hanging out is a better bet for me.

Favourite Aussie holiday place or one you’ve always wanted to visit?

I’d love to go see the Great Barrier Reef, although I’d probably want to learn to snorkel or scuba first. Uluru looks like it would be awesome to see, too.




***Wonder is the third book in the Spellbound series and is up for preorder September 12th, pre-sale September 26th, and general release October 24th.***



Book Blurb:

To find out the truth and join with his Vampire mate, Blake may have to pay a steep price—his sanity.

It’s not that Blake Hollister doesn’t want to be the mate of the town’s resident hottie Vampire, Adam Harkin. Just the opposite—with everything else in his life going to hell, that’s the one thing Blake wants more than anything. But fate has other ideas. Blake is Dormant, meaning his magical powers never manifested when he came of age, leaving him doomed to be forever connected with magic, but never able to access it. Sex between magical beings and non-magics is risky at first and becomes exponentially more dangerous, and Adam isn’t willing to harm his mate, effectively pausing their relationship until some solution can be found.

At the same time, darker things are manifesting in Kelvin. Secrets buried in the ruins of the town’s old amusement park, Wonderworld, threaten to destroy the fragile peace. And when Blake finally convinces Adam to give sex a shot despite the risk, the destructive effects to his mind that he tries to hide threaten to drive him insane. Blake’s once structured life begins to shatter—days turn into fractured memories of events he can’t be sure really occurred, a broken slideshow of night clubs, theme parks, and torrid sex. Dreams and reality, past and present, betrayal and loyalty are all on a collision course, and at the center stands the mercury-eyed fantasy that Blake is beginning to think he might love—if the long-forgotten truth about Adam’s brutal change from human to Vampire doesn’t turn the entire town against each other first…





Something shuffling in the shadows cast by the trees drew me toward the dark overgrowth off the edge of the street. It was just as likely to be another bird, but the whispered edges of magic at the corners of my vision hooked into my mind and wouldn’t let me ignore the possibility of something more. A shape shifted in the bushes, but I couldn’t make it out in the darkness, so I warily took a step closer.

“Wrong way!”


I spun around to face the voice behind me, pivoting so fast I almost landed flat on my ass again.

Adam grinned at me from the cluster of trees in the middle of the plaza, sitting on one of the lowest branches. When he saw I’d caught sight of him, he rocked back and pushed off the bough as he fell backward, using the momentum to somersault once in the air before landing cleanly on his feet.

“Hey there, hot stuff. I was gonna just come to you, you know?”

My mouth was suddenly so dry I could hardly swallow. The Vampire was moving toward me, closing the gap between us with each of his long strides, and I took a step back by reflex. The massive trees that had enveloped this place left most of it plunged in shadow at all times, the courtyard no exception, but there were patches of sunlight streaming down through the canopy. For a half-second I considered moving into one of them, but that wouldn’t stop the Vamp if he really wanted it—the superior senses of his kind made sunlight painful, but it wasn’t like he was going to burst into dust if it touched him.

You’re the one who went looking for him, you dumbass. Why are you backing away now?

With an unsteady breath, I held my ground, trying to stand straight, look a little more intimidating. That all kind of went out of the window a moment later, though, as a faltering, “U-uh… What?” fell from my lips. I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment, silently cursing myself for my idiocy.

When I opened them a second later, Adam was suddenly in front of me, his hands coming to rest on my chest and drifting downward. My breath hitched and I grabbed the hands he had now settled on my hips, using the stance to steady myself even as the fiery warmth of his skin sent a chill up my spine. The Vampire smiled incredulously, the beginnings of a furrow forming at his brow.

“Little jumpy?”

I stood perfectly still for seconds that seemed to drag indefinitely, looking into his eyes as though there was some answer to my unspoken questions there. Adam held my gaze easily, letting his own drift just enough to take in the rest of my face before centering again. A subtle tingle worked through my veins the longer I looked at the Vampire’s flawless features, an echo of the sexual abandon I’d let overtake me the night before. Images of groping hands and roaming kisses flickered across my mind’s eye, and my breath started to quicken.

What is wrong with me lately?

I swallowed hard and gritted my teeth to keep from backing up, trapped somewhere between confusion and overdrive need. “Y-you aren’t using your aura.” It was true—the venting swirl of marks that usually surrounded a Vamp when they were trying to lure someone in was nowhere to be found. My eyes drifted closed as my head threatened to spin. “So why do I feel like…like this?”

Adam pressed closer, bringing our bodies together until they touched, one of his hands still on my hip, the other now squeezed between us and running over my crotch. “What do you feel?” His voice was liquid fire, deep and low in a way that made my spine shudder.

I death-gripped his shoulder and thrust against his hand. “Want.” I shivered and started to slowly roll my hips forward. “Need. So bad I can’t think of anything else…” Adam’s hand came up to the side of my face and I leaned into his touch, crushing my lips to his when I felt him come close. Animal energy burned in my heart, and I grabbed Adam’s wrist between us and moved him up until his fingertips were brushing the waist of my jeans. The Vampire pushed down between the sensitive skin at the base of my stomach and the elastic of my boxers, and I arched my back to help him slip into place. My legs threatened to give out as he brushed his fingers over my head and moved deeper.

“I’ve waited so long to find you, al meu…

Adam’s mouth stole across mine again, and I groaned, fighting to stay lucid enough to bring together the shattered pieces of my thoughts. Something about what he’d just said was important, but damn it, his lips felt so soft and warm, and his hand was about to make me paint the inside of my jeans white the fun way…

“So long…”

I brought my hand up to Adam’s chest and pushed hard, using what little mind I had left to break us apart so I could take a breath. The Vampire groaned and tried to come closer again, but I locked my elbow and held him at arm’s length. Surging platinum seas bored into me, but I used the small distance to help my head clear, help me feel like my old self again instead of this sex-hungry…monster Adam kept turning me into.

“What do you mean ‘so long’?” I managed to keep the quiver out of my voice, but the shakes slowly overtaking my body the longer I stayed distant were going to make that impossible soon. The Vampire smirked, running a hand through his wild black hair to push it back.

“I was afraid I might join the century club before I found my al meu.” He started to move closer again, forcing my arm to bend no matter how hard I fought, so I stepped back and dropped my hands to make the gap more impactful. He slowed his approach, the bare traces of confusion flickering across his features. “What’s wrong, Blake?”

I wasn’t sure yet. There were too many things to count. One of those was definitely the fact that he somehow knew my name—and that he’d known I’d had sex, and known the exact moves it took to make me lose it, and that he seemed to have this all figured out while I felt like my head was going to fucking explode. I let my mouth take over, carving a path through my disparate thoughts to voice whatever it thought was most vital.

“Before you found your what? W-what does al meu mean?” The foreign word rolled smoothly off my tongue, not a language I was familiar with, but a phrase that made strange tingles needle in my chest nonetheless.

Adam cocked his eyebrow. “Technically, the word means mine.”

His brow furrowed, as though all of this should have been obvious to me somehow, but to hear my brain tell it, everything was making less than no sense. I licked my lips, rubbing idly at my left arm.

The Vampire stepped forward slowly, carefully, and this time I let him without resistance. He still kept his distance, now looking me over like I was some terrified animal, ready to bolt at any moment. “I was saying I’ve waited so long to find my mate.

I stared at him blankly, the words not quite connecting in my head even as the ache in my chest went supernova.

“I’ve waited so long to find you, Blake.”



 Given the powers of an Incubus,

could you resist the urge to take the one man you’ve always secretly wanted?



Find out more about Erik’s Spellbound series here :

 Totally Bound Author Page


Amazon US Links


Scarred. Resentful. Alone…
Six years away from Max may have changed Syler too much for him to risk rekindling their relationship.

Book Expo 2014

Originally posted on Australian Romance Readers Association:

Book Expo logoAt the end of August Sydney will be hosting the very first Book Expo Australia. It will be held in Exhibition Hall 5, Sydney Showground on Saturday 30 August andr Sunday 31 August.

ARRA will have a table at the expo–you can find us at stand R23. We invite everyone to come along to meet us–we will be running a raffle on each day and you can win a huge bag of romance books.

For ARRA members–if you flash your membership card you will receive free swag: one of our new bags and also a pen. We will also put your name in the draw to win a year’s extra membership.

Book Expo authorsOur stand will also be hosting some romance authors–come along and meet them and maybe pick up a signed book:

Saturday 30 August

10.30–11.30 — tba
11.30–12.30 — Shannon Curtis
1.30–2.30 — Maggie Nash
2.30–3.30 — Donna Gallagher
3.30–4.30 —

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2014. 1 Comment

Jorja Lovett – First Floor Cosmetics

Welcome to fellow Totally Bound author Jorja Lovett visiting today with not ONE but TWO new releases to share. It’s great to have you back downunder, Jorja :)

JL Pic

Thanks for having me here today to promote my little cougar romance, First Floor: Cosmetics, which goes on general release from 15th Aug. This is the second book in The Department Store series.

Jonah Hamilton was a fun character to wrangle onto paper. He’s young and hot, with no responsibilities, and very liberating for both me and Maggie Fenton! His devil-may-care attitude means when he sees something he wants, he goes for it. That includes the glamorous lady on the cosmetics counter at Kelsey’s department store. She’s older, and married, but that doesn’t stop him from chasing her. Maggie’s flattered by the attention but even Jonah doesn’t anticipate her passionate response to his advances…





Take one younger man, add some illicit outdoor sex, and Maggie Fenton is inclined to forget she’s the oldest cosmetics girl at Kelsey’s Department Store.

From the outside, it looks as though Maggie Fenton has it all. The glamorous head of the cosmetics department lives a life of luxury, but money definitely hasn’t bought her happiness. In reality, she’s married to a serial cheat who has made her life a misery for over a decade. With her husband chasing younger women, and her teenage co-workers’ catty comments ringing in her ears, Maggie’s resigned herself to being on the scrap heap. Until Jonah Hamilton puts temptation in her way and reminds her she’s still a red-blooded woman.


Commitment is a four letter word as far as Jonah is concerned. He has no intention of settling down when he has the whole world at his feet. The only reason he takes a summer job at Kelsey’s is to fund his travels. Well, that, and the sexy older woman he can’t help flirting with over the makeup counter. Maggie soon becomes a good friend and someone who shows him how good love can be.


The chemistry between them is undeniable but is a fling enough to satisfy their desires, or is it simply the start of something bigger?







Jonah blinked as Maggie disappeared out of the door faster than an alcoholic to a free bar. Her husband had really done a number on her for her to have such low confidence. Her self-esteem was so fragile, one joke had shattered it to smithereens. He couldn’t let her leave like that, thinking such despicable thoughts about herself. And him.

He left the rest of his pint to give chase. He didn’t know why it mattered so much that someone he hardly knew was upset, but he didn’t want to part with her on bad terms.

I’m such a dick.

He dodged through the crowd, cursing himself. Any other sober, conscious of other people’s feelings dumbass would’ve realized she needed that reassurance her husband couldn’t give her. Instead, he’d laughed, convinced that the funny, warm, gorgeous woman with him would realize how daft she was being. Perhaps he’d been too cautious about letting his true thoughts about her be known.

All he’d done was to confirm her suspicions that she was nothing more than a has-been, when, in his experience, she was the most grounded, deeper than a fish pond, natural goddess he’d met in a long time.

He barged the heavy wooden doors open to see the smokers gathered outside in the last of the evening sun. With no sign of Maggie, he knew he’d blown it. Away from the cloud of smoke clogging his lungs, he scanned up and down Great Victoria Street. Among the student crowd, the young professionals and the theater-goers, he spotted her hot-footing it away, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.


He sprinted after her, not really caring who he knocked out of his path, but apologizing anyway. “Excuse me. Sorry. Move!”

Her steps slowed as she approached the traffic lights, giving him time to cover the distance between them. Before she could put her foot out onto the road, he grabbed her elbow and yanked her back.

“What the hell?” She stiffened, probably ready to batter her assailant with the handbag she was gripping like a deadly weapon. Only when she saw his face did she stop resisting.

With grim determination, he pulled her back the way she had come, not saying a word.

“Jonah? What’s going on? I need to go home.” The tone of her voice varied from loud, outright panic to quiet resignation. It only succeeded in driving him on in his quest.

When they reached the pub again, he dodged down the alleyway at the side. They didn’t need an audience. He pushed Maggie up against the wall, careful not to hurt her, but with enough force to stop her running again. He caged her between his body and the brick building. As she worried her bottom lip with her teeth, Jonah leaned down to catch it and draw it back out. She was soft and pliant, and her gentle scent intoxicated him further.

With a point to prove, he kissed her hard, plunging his tongue into her mouth to taste her sweetness and claim it for himself. Ordinarily, such an audacious move might’ve deserved a slap or a knee to the balls. Either would’ve been worth it. Instead, she went limp beneath him, submitting immediately.


He stepped back. “That is how you make me feel. How you should be kissed.”

Christ, the way she had responded to it made it a double sin that someone didn’t do that to her frequently.

Maggie stared back at him, her brow furrowed and her kiss-swollen lips parted and waiting. Beer or no beer, a certain part of his anatomy sat up to say hello.

Both he and Maggie stared silently at one another. Deep down Jonah knew he should be the one to walk away this time. He’d made his point. She was attractive and he fancied her. She could file that away for future reference the next time her husband went MIA. Jonah lingered on her moist lips a while longer.

“Do it again,” he could have sworn she said.


 Buy Links: TotallyBound, Amazon, AllRomance




pyramidofpassion_800 (1)


My erotic, Egyptian fantasy, Pyramid of Passion, will also be available for early download at Totally Bound.


Rosie Carter can’t decide—should she act on her feelings for her real-life co-worker or lose herself in the fantasy of her Ancient Egyptian lover?

Rosie Carter’s cleaning job at the museum is far from boring. She starts her night shift by finding the security guard, Nick, screwing a redhead in the office. Running from her attraction to him, she distracts herself with the newly acquired Ancient Egyptian exhibit.

The Gold of Valor catches her eye—a pendant bestowed on the Pharaoh’s soldier, Edifu. Its mystical powers transport her into the bedroom of the man himself, who thinks she’s a gift from the gods and worships her with his mouth, his tongue…

When Rosie wakes up back home she thinks it’s all been an incredibly erotic dream. Until it happens again. She rediscovers the joy of sex and a newfound confidence with her hunky warrior, but she’s caught between her fantasy life and reality. When co-worker Nick starts to show his true feelings toward her, Rosie has to decide what it is she really wants.


You can stalk Jorja here: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Cover Reveal: A Fruitful Intimacy gets a Makeover for the Sexy Snax Line @Totally_Bound

A Fruitful Intimacy Banner


I’m very pleased to announce that my novella A Fruitful Intimacy has been given a facelift, tummy tuck and a new home at Totally Bound Publishing.

Originally included in an anthology that is no longer available. I was thrilled when Totally Bound offered to publish my contemporary erotic romance in their Sexy Snax line, with a beautiful new cover and a little extra in the storyline. How good is the name Sexy Snax for a novella or short stories…I love it!
And readers know that when they purchase from this line at Totally Bound Publishing that’s exactly what they are getting – a quick and tasty little erotic story. I like to think of these books as a good way to cleanse that reading palate between full length novels ;)


afruitfulintimacy_800The fire and passion of their love has slowly ebbed away through years of neglect. Can a second honeymoon re-ignite that spark?

There was no physical contact in their marriage for so long that when Ben first hatches his plan to take Beth away for the weekend it really is all about the sex and providing an environment where there are no distractions, and no excuse for her to refuse his advances again. But while Ben is making all the arrangements it suddenly becomes clear to him that there’s something more important at stake—his marriage, to the woman of his dreams, is actually in trouble.

Beth believed that motherhood would come easy, that building a perfect world around her three sons and husband would be achievable. But reality has proven her wrong. The more she tried the bigger her failures shattered her confidence. Where she planned to shower her family with home baked cookies, smiles and unconditional love—she struggles just getting the evening meal on the table. By the end of the day she’s so exhausted that she can’t even fulfil her marital obligations. Once upon a time making love to Ben was just as necessary as breathing, before her body was ravaged by the demands of pregnancy and childbirth. They’ve grown so far apart that Beth’s convinced Ben’s having an affair.

Can a second honeymoon really help Beth and Ben bridge that growing divide between them and bring back the fire and passion that has slowly, through years of neglect, ebbed away? And will this give the couple a much needed chance to work together for a happier future? Or is it too late?


Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.


Release Dates -
Pre-order: 31st October 2014
Early download: 14th November 2014
General release: 12th December 2014



Here is an excerpt and I’m just wondering…how many of you can relate to how Beth is feeling?


What about the warm dishwater had Beth reminiscing about her honeymoon? There was nothing romantic about doing the dishes. After ten years of marriage and bringing three kids into the world, she had cleaned up more times than she could count. Could just the feel of the warm water on her skin be enough to bring about those memories of better times? Swimming, relaxing, or making love were their only concerns back on that romantic, idyllic island. Whatever the reason remembering how things used to be, did nothing to improve her mood. Those days, when romance and sex had been a wonderful feature of her marriage to Ben, were long gone.

Once upon a time they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Ben had taught Beth all there was to know about sex. Sensual, needy, hot and heavy, together they had explored most of the positions listed in the Kama Sutra. Marking them off one by one as they groped, stroked, licked or sucked over every inch of each other’s naked flesh. These days she was lucky to get a kiss on the cheek as Ben raced out the door on his way to work. More disturbingly, Beth found this new development a relief.

Not that she could blame Ben for his lack of motivation. Beth didn’t need to look in the mirror to confirm she had let herself go. Those bikini-wearing days, like back on her honeymoon, were a long way in the past. Her once flat tummy, now flabby, covered in stretch marks. Her hair, her pride and joy back in the day, treated with regular hair dressing appointments and top priced conditioning treatments now lucky to get a quick brush before being drawn back into a ponytail. A top and shorts or sweatpants, paired with a floppy jumper, her choice of clothing these days, depending on the weather. She had little time to do much more, always something else needing her attention more urgently.

Ben, on the contrary, looked just as good as he did when Beth first met him eleven years ago. In fact, he looked even better in her opinion. He had filled out over the years, but where her body had turned to flab, Ben had muscled up. The laugh lines now gracing his face highlighted his sea-blue coloured eyes, while her wrinkles just illuminated the dark circles underneath hers.

Enough with the maudlin thoughts Beth, she chastised herself as she slapped the last dish into the rack. Pulling the plug from the sink, she watched the water swirl around the drain hole, listening to the gurgling sound it made disappearing from her sight.

Bit like the passion in my marriage. Once a powerful, whirlpool of emotion, now ebbed away to just a trickle of water going down the drain of life, the momentum almost at a standstill…Look at me, such a poet when it comes to describing my happy life. She sighed sadly to herself before stepping away from the sink and drying her hands on the dishtowel

“Well time to wash the clothes, make the beds. Clean the bathrooms. Yes, just another exciting day in the life of Beth Russell.” Her voice echoed back at her, bouncing around the empty room, as she went about her daily ritual. She knew she had no time to spare grumbling because before she knew it the day would be over and the time to collect her children from school would arrive. Trying to achieve anything with her beautiful but rambunctious boys around would be pointless.


Cooking Up A Storm by Ashley Ladd. New MM Menage @ashleyladd

This week I welcome Totally Bound author Ashley Ladd to my blog with an excerpt from her latest MM release Cooking Up A Storm. Ashley will be back to do my author interview in the coming weeks.


cookingupastorm_800COOKING UP A STORM by Ashley Ladd


Brooks and Rique desperately want to win a coveted chef’s job offered by an eccentric millionaire in paradise. Even more, Rique desperately wants to stay alive.


Brooks and Rique desperately want to win the head chef’s position offered by an eccentric millionaire Jonah Verleun on his beautiful, private but peculiar island that includes a zoo full of exotic animals, an amusement park and a monster shark tank beneath Jonah’s bedroom floor. While Brooks wants the job to escape his heartache and the lover who thwarted him, Rique is hiding from the mob, hoping to live long enough to pay them off with the prize winnings. Fierce competitors, they cook up a storm in a series of cooking challenges while trying to turn down the heat on their intense attraction. When a hurricane strikes the island, the storm Rique has been cooking up explodes, and no heart—or body—is safe.




They ran, hunched over, zigging and zagging as bullets flew around them. Rique damned himself for putting Brooks in this mess. He wondered if the mob held the others prisoner and that’s why they didn’t answer the door.

He turned the first corner they came upon and then the next. He stopped dead and the air left his lungs. A moment later Brooks ran into his back almost knocking him over. He swayed dangerously but managed to stay upright and spread his arms wide to keep Brooks from stumbling forward.

He couldn’t believe his eyes. One of Jonah’s tigers lay in their path crouching low, baring his teeth, and eying them as if they were dinner.

He tried to quell the jitters attacking his stomach so the animal wouldn’t smell his fear then whispered to Brooks through clenched teeth, “What do we do now? Freeze or run?”

“Run. But where?” Brooks whispered back, a frown trembling on his lips.

“To the closest protection.” He prayed their hunters had lost them, that they wouldn’t run back into a barrage of bullets. As Rique bunched his muscles to run, already feeling the animal’s fangs ripping into him, he noted how the tiger’s thick muscles corded in his shoulders, and how saliva ran down his snarling lips.

“Dear God, we’re going to die.” Panic laced Brooks’ voice. “If we get out of here alive, let’s both turn down the job and move in together.”

Swallowing hard, Rique couldn’t reply so he nodded. Besides, as much as he wanted to live with Brooks, he couldn’t do it as long as he was indebted to the mob. However, the point was moot. He couldn’t see a scenario in which one of them didn’t die in the next five minutes.

Feeling responsible, Rique couldn’t let anything happen to Brooks as long as he was alive. He would take on the tiger giving Brooks time to reach safety. “On the count of three, run!”

As Rique whispered, “One,” hisses, then a blood-curdling growl wrenched the air. It was a different sound than the tiger was making. Then a crocodile bellowed and jumped out of the bushes and snatched the tiger by its belly. As it dragged the struggling creature back to the bushes, the tiger howled in surprise and pain. It clawed the air in vain as the reptile’s powerful jaws clamped tighter biting through flesh and bone.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of multiple male ménage.


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Bio: Ashley LaddAshley_Ladd_bio

Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.


She’s been told she has a wicked sense of humour and often incorporates humour and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

You can find Ashley at:


New Release – Executing Justice, The Reunion Trilogy Book 3 by @ImogeneNix

Imogene has dropped by my blog to introduce us to her latest release, book three in The Reunion Trilogy,  Executing Justice.


Blurb: The end game is looming, but whether the last of the Ito family will find his happily ever after is in the balance.imi

Tomi Ito must deal with the knowledge that the woman he’s loved forever, Gillian Edgemont, thinks he’s abandoned her in her time of need. But when he’s abducted, she’s there to help save him.

Gillian is running from the wreck of her life and the unrequited passion she holds for her former boss, Senator Tomi Ito. When he follows her to Vega II so does the danger that’s been dogging the Ito family.

As the finale looms, does it include a future for Tomi and Gillian? Or will it all turn to ashes?


Excerpt: Even as Gillian scanned the view, she noted that the pilot slipped a headpiece over his ear so he could communicate with the rescue worker. She wished she knew who was in the water, but his words were too low to overhear.

In the main cabin, she could hear bangs and groaning equipment. The scene on the view screen changed to the belly of their craft. She could see a man dangling in the air, and in the water, someone clutching another person. She said a silent prayer that one of them was Tomi.

Tension rose in the cabin, thick and heady. The rescuer plunged into the cold waters. A harness was handed over and gripped while the officer dealt with the other. From the movements, Gillian could tell that the person was panicked. Slowly, the first harness rose and she could tell it wasn’t Tomi, as the person had long hair and bare legs. She sucked in a breath as the second person in the water was assisted into another harness, then he or she rose with the rescuer. Even though she craned, the outline of the officer obscured her view. She sucked in an unsteady breath, clenched her hands together, and waited.

When Gillian was sure she could last no longer, the door opened with a bang. She quickly looked up, anticipation sizzling along every nerve ending.

There in the doorway was Tomi, wet and shivering, but very much alive. In his arms was a woman, bedraggled and dirty, but he held her so tenderly that any hopes or dreams Gillian harbored melted away. There was never any hope for her and the feelings that burned in her chest.

Without a word, Gillian turned away and fought the sting of tears in her eyes. She noted the sounds of joyous reunion between brother and sister, but she kept her gaze averted, to give them privacy, she piously told herself. When the pilot ordered them strapped in, she breathed a silent sigh of relief. She knew that this torture, him being so close but now forever so far away, would come to an end sooner rather than later.

Just as she was sure she’d be spared, Tomi spoke. “Gillian, thank you for coming to find me.”

The clog of tears filled her throat, but she managed to croak, “It was nothing.” “It means a lot to me.” He reached out and touched her hand, and she bit back the gasp that rose.

Nerves in her hand jumped and thrummed, but she ignored them. “Honestly, I’m just pleased I could help.” She glanced in his direction, taken aback by the directness in his gaze before the woman beside him shuddered. He scooped her closer and Gillian turned away.

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Forced apart by war five years ago, Renjiro and Selina have another chance at love. Can they make it work or does fate have other plans?


Without the citizenship of the Federation, Indy pilot Selina Codecko is treated like a second-class citizen. When she gets caught up in a bar brawl she’s arrested and finds herself in the hands of the Justice Officers.

Renjiro Ito has dreamed of Selina for five long years. As the Commander of the Justice Officers, the plight of this one woman will turn his life upside down.

But there’s more going on than just the fate of one woman—there’s a seething underbelly that wants to destroy their newly expanded Federation. The chances of a future together are slim, but they’ll take any chances that come their way. Will it be enough?


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Kumi Ito has her mission, as does Carmichael Snow, but are their objectives compatible?

Kumi Ito is a woman with a problem. Since assuming the role of head of the Commerce Department, she’s found discrepancies…the kind that could cause anarchy if the truth got out.

When Carmichael Snow, the commander of the Emancipation, comes across intelligence that someone has placed a hit on Kumi, he has to save her. His plan? Hide her and find the assassin.

As they dodge the killer, a passion ignites between them that runs from simmering all the way to steamy. But will the actions of one snatch away their happiness before they can accept what is growing between them?


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Wife, mother and nutty bookstore owner all describe Imogene Nix, but the real secret is Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance with a hefty dose of Romantic Suspense is what she ImogeneNix-300x400adores. Dedicated to high quality romance, with a dollop of erotic interactions, Imogene has dipped her toes into Science Fiction, Contemporary Rural Romance and Paranormal Romance featuring feisty headstrong female leads.


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